Dr Wendy Dossett

Wendy is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Chester, Programme Leader for the MA in Religious Studies and Principal Investigator of the Higher Power Project. She is a former Associate Director of the Alister Hardy Religious Experience Research Centre, and Secretary of the Shap Working Party for Religions in Education. She has research interests and publications in Japanese Buddhism, religious education, religious and spiritual experience outside of institutional settings, and in spirituality and recovery from addiction. She has worked for a year as a key-worker with people in recovery at a residential rehabilitation centre.

As a researcher in Religious Studies with a focus on the deployment of the term ‘spirituality’, Wendy’s focus is on the language used to describe the lived-experience of recovery, especially in Twelve Step contexts, but she is also interested in the putatively spiritual, communitarian and practice-based dimensions of many other recovery methodologies.  She is interested in the relationship between the language of spirituality used in the wider population and that of communities of recovery. The association of spirituality with recovery is controversial in today’s pro-secular medicalised environment. Wendy’s approach neither promotes nor defends particular views, either of ‘spirituality’ or of ‘recovery’, but seeks to clarify the nature of the language and experiences of people who use this lexicon, and to analyse the discourse.

Role in CSARS Group: Wendy is Director of Research for CSARS Group and the Principal Investigator of the Higher Power Project.

Contact Wendy:  w.dossett@chester.ac.uk